Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Looking Under the Hood of Your Organization




Excellent driving skills are not the only factors that could prevent a driver from encountering a possibly fatal accident. Your vehicle must always be in tiptop condition for you to prevent any traffic or driving mishaps. Consider this: an ill-maintained vehicle is an accident waiting to happen. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by making sure your vehicle is in excellent condition.



That being said, let’s discuss how your organization is much like an automobile. Keep in mind that any time you are looking under your vehicle’s hood is always the perfect time to examine the different connections, hoses and belts i.e. personnel, policies, equipment, operating guidelines, etc. to make sure that they are damage, wear and leak-free.



If it’s your first time to check under your organization’s hood, then you’ll probably be unfamiliar with all the numerous parts in and around the organization. However, if you make it a frequent practice to check your organization and make sure that everything works, you’ll be able to identify all the different issues and problems in a jiffy. I suggest you procure a model and use it to evaluate any loose connections or changes that might have occurred in your organization.



One common model that is recognized Fire Service wide is the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Fire Accreditation International model. Even if you are not looking to become an accredited organization, the self assessment approach has proven to be a sound performance criteria model industry wide.



There are a number of benefits in conducting a self assessment program for your agency. These benefits provide for practical, day-to-day organizational improvements. The hardest component is to be honest in your assessment. If conducted correctly the self-conducted performance evaluation will result in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization provided that the findings are applied to the planning and implementation activities.



Below are some benefits to conducting the self assessment:
· Quality improvement through a continuous self assessment process.
· Providing a detailed evaluation of the services it provides to the community.
· Identifying strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in the organization.
· A methodology for building on strong points and addressing deficiencies.
· Providing for department growth for programs, services and member capabilities.
· Fostering pride in an organization, department members, community leaders and citizens.



Through self assessment, a systematic evaluation can be accomplished to determine what is currently going on in the organization, focusing on whether or not the organization is meeting the goals commensurate with its responsibilities. The assessment process is astounding in the clarity it brings an organization’s leaders and members, not only regarding how the organization currently works but how the various parts are interrelated, its overall state of health and, most importantly, what needs to be done to make improvements. You will target and prioritize top opportunities for change and develop detailed improvement plans.
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